Considered the toughest challenge in yacht racing, the Vendée Globe is a single-handed, solo, non-stop yacht race around the world without assistance. The race was founded by Philippe Jeantot in 1989, and since 1992 has taken place every four years.
The total distance is 21, 638 miles – the circumference of Earth – though most of the time the distance far exceeds that number because the competitors have to zig-zag and change route according to conditions.
Fewer than 100 skippers have completed the race in its history. To put that into perspective, that is less than 3% of the number of people who have climbed Mount Everest. Fewer than 10 Brits have finished the race, and only seven women overall – more people have walked on the moon!